Does the thought of grad school tuition make you hesitate to enroll? If so, you aren’t alone: thousands of people decide to skip earning an advanced degree because of the daunting cost. While there is no argument that grad school is expensive, there are very real ways to finance your continuing education. If you’re wondering how you can possibly pay for grad school, read on!
1. Federal Student Aid
The first step to securing any type of federal aid for graduate school is to fill out the FAFSA; a form you’re probably intimately familiar with if you’ve made it through four years of college already. The only thing that changes once you make it to grad school is the loss of the Pell Grant. Once you’ve made it this far, your free ride from the government is over with; you’ll have to take out a loan, or multiple loans, to pay your tuition. If, after filling out the FAFSA, you find that you don’t qualify for the type of federal loan you want, it’s time to look for other sources of funding.
Again, scholarships aren’t something new to you if you’ve been to college. Start searching for scholarships that are specific to graduate school students, and then narrow your search further by your major, gender, ethnic background or even your GPA. The first place to look for scholarships is at your school’s financial aid office; don’t be fooled into signing up for one of the many scholarship search websites; most of these are scams and will flood your inbox with spam.
Private loans can be tricky things to get. If you are in debt, and who isn’t, most lenders will pass you by without a second glance. If you aren’t in debt, you must stop to consider whether the exorbitant interest rates are worth it. If you ultimately decide that a private loan is the way to go, be sure to check out the lenders with a fine tooth comb before you sign any loan documents! All lending institutions are not created equal; know what you’re getting into!
It can be tough, but many people work while they are going to school. Believe it or not, tons of people do it every day! If you are struggling for ways to pay for grad school, get a job and pay your tuition with your earnings. This won’t work, of course, if you are already employed and looking for ways to fund your education, but if you’ve got a better half who’s bringing home the bacon, consider getting a part-time job to pay your tuition.
If you are working full-time and are going to grad school to further your career within your company, find out if your employer will reimburse you for your tuition. If there is no program currently set up, consider talking to the head honcho and telling him or her of your plans. If you’re a valuable employee, you may just find that your employer rewards your initiative with full or partial tuition reimbursement.
If you want to go to grad school, but the cost is holding you back, there are ways to fund your tuition. Whether you have to take out student loans or beg your employer for cash, don’t let tuition stop you from pursuing your goals! If you are determined enough to attend grad school, you’re determined enough to find a way to pay for it.
Nicole Morgan is a career counselor, and blogs for intelicus.com where you can find information about online masters degree programs. She enjoys browsing the internet for new exciting career opportunities!